How Do I Read Sterling Lot Numbers?

  Apr 7th 2018
Sterling Rope Lot Numbers

So, you may be wondering, "When was my rope born? How can I tell, so I know when to retire it?"

We're here to help you solve the mystery.

Every single rope that comes out of our factory has a lot number on the end label- the little yellow sticker that's wrapped in plastic at both ends of your rope. This is part of our ISO certification process as it ensures we are adhering to the stringent quality control process as well as confirm we are manufacturing the highest quality product possible This lot number is essentially a code to tell us what batch (by date) this rope came from, so we can keep track of our inventory coming out of the factory.

New Lot Numbers:


As of January, 2020 we have implemented a new lot numbering system. The numbers on the end labels are now indicators for the year and month (YYMM) for when the rope is made. It no longer calls out the year/week of manufacture. Here is a visual example:

  • As you can see, this rope has 2009 on the end label, indicating it was built in 2020 (20) in the month of September (09).

Moving forward you may still see old lot numbers due to some inventory being built before January, 2020.

Old Lot Number Formats:

January 2015-January 2020:

As of January 1st, 2015 we adopted a lot numbering system in accordance with our order entry system.

Our lot numbering format included only 4 digits, like this:


This format tells us year (15) along with which week in the year it was made (09).

Here are a couple visual examples:

Old lot system on rope
  • The new system was rolled out 1/1/15, however inventory built prior to this date will still have the old numbering system so it’s very likely that you may still see products with both the old and new lot numbers.

Before January 2015

Before January, 2015, we formatted our lot numbers with 12 characters, broken down like this:


This tells us which machine the product was built on (R26), the date it was made (04/12/14) and the initials of the operator who built it (MJA)

Here's a visual for example:

  • In this example, the lot # is R17-111014 which means it was made on Machine R17, on November 10th, 2014 (can't see the intials in this one).

Moving forward you may still see old lot numbers due to some inventory being built before January, 2020.


The hardware lot numbers have not changed, however there are 2 different lot numbers we use to complete our train of traceability.

On the hardware itself you’ll find a number similar to the one below:


This system uses a Julian date as well as a serialization schema. To explain, 15 is the year (2015), 111 is the day (111th day of 2015) and the M0001 is the serialization.

In our system we simplify this to just the Julian date (15111), which is found on the product packaging. Using this system provides traceability back to the entire lot and all the serial numbers within.

For any questions, please contact our sales team via or call 207-282-2550.